What I am learning now.....
It's been three months since we opened the doors to our new venture with our church, The Well. I am transitioning from wife/mom/speaker/writer to now adding Pastor's Wife. Can I say Pastor's wives went up on my prayer list? And Pastors and their children too. As you can tell, I have hardly written since August 16th. I am wrestling to find a piece of me left to share some days, but I love it! Even more, I love how I have witnessed the hand of God move as only He can. I am having "Field of Dreams" experience....if you build it they will come. If you Facebook or Instagram you may have seen glimpses of our church and the special moments of baptizing 26 in a feeding trough, but if not I thought I would give you a peek into my world and what I am learning in this season of my life.
Seeking to reach those hurt by the church, or out of church, or unsure about God, or running from God, we set out to find a place that looked the least like a church. We are the church anyway not the building, right? Somehow our culture has misshaped that image. I am the church and you are the church. The building is simple walls that draw us together and only when we come together does the holy presence fill the space, because we are carriers of the Kingdom. The presence indwells within us.
I am learning on a deeper level that the More you seek the more you find. amen!
Those who seek will find.....Jeremiah 29:13
I was reading Emily Freeman's A Million Little Ways the other day and she was speaking to us as being an expression of God like art. We are His masterpiece. She goes on to say that art happens when.... and she went on to list great examples like when a writer finds her story etc.... and then she ends with this one that gripped me at the core.....when a believer finally believes, His art happens. I think this is the passion of my heart to awaken those that say they believe but have never truly experienced Jesus. In my research the past few months, I have found great leaders speak to statistics of people in the church not truly being believers anywhere from 50-80%. How scary to think so many could be in church praying for the lost and not realize they are the lost? We have given birth to generations of Pharisees that have traded intimacy with God for ritual and tradition. They claim Jesus but they have become the very thing He came to break down....legalism, religion, and idolatry. Oh how I have been there lost in tradition and my own righteousness oblivious to the many idols I had erected, and I suppose that it why I have such great longing to lead women to His heart and His truth where we finally find .....freedom!!!!! Thank you Jesus for freedom!!!
So the point is (now that I am done preaching) that when we truly believe we carry the Kingdom within it doesn't matter what the building looks like as long as the heart of it draws the people together. So we ventured to use an old Budweiser building. I have learned that God has a sense of humor, because we later found that Well in Hebrew is Beer. Lol! God is certainly not religious!
We are brimming over with people that now call The Well home and it feels like a family and sometimes we stay late because no one really wants to leave and I love that most. The love of God should draw us together. It is so easy we miss it, don't we? Entangled in works we miss the freedom to love and be loved as our hearts so long for. The Well is a house of great love and I am watching love break down walls that have kept our city bound in racism and poverty and oppression.
I am learning that Love Never Fails. so love!
I am learning to dream more.
In just three months we are needing to more space, so we signed a contract on the city block across the street from our building. I am learning more everyday that His vision is so much larger than our vision. People without vision will perish. Proverbs 29:18 We aren't expected to simply follow vision, but we should covet Him giving us vision. Show us Father where to step next! Show us what we can only do if You show up! Show us how to bring Your Kingdom here as you taught us to pray! So often we create a plan and ask Him bless it, instead of just saying, Here I am.... use me to unleash Your vision on this Earth. I am learning to dream with Him.
I am having to learn to release things that He hasn't called me to and simply trust!
The load of responsibilities has taken a weight on my health and I am realizing I'm not superwoman after all...lol! Or perhaps the enemy is just having fun trying his best to keep me off of my feet. "A new level brings a new devil," my husband says. Either way, my words for this season are release and trust! I have learned to stand on the promises of God. By His stripes I am healed. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. It isn't enough to know the Word, we must believe it! When the doctors told me to cancel my mission trip in December, because I would not get better, I pressed in to the promises over the prognosis and found relief and now I go to Honduras with my daughter in two weeks to love on the poor and orphans. I also go because I am fighting for her. I am learning that you can't simply parent today. You must become a warrior! She is fourteen and I am turning gray as she ages.....lol! It is hard to raise children in our culture to appreciate anything when they expect everything. So I don't delay the moment that God put in my heart to fight for her to see that there is a world far greater than this small town that reeks with an entitlement spirit in our kids as most other towns do this day also, because we give too much and expect too little. To hear about poverty is one thing, and to see a child sleeping on a dirt floor is another. To drop a bag at the Salvation Army is one thing, but to touch the arms of another child of God that needs a coat to keep warm is another. Something awakens in us when we come face to face with need...we can no longer just drive by as if it doesn't exist. It compels us to become more like Jesus which finally begins to tap into the longings of our hearts to bear His image. We are image bearers!
I have also learned that He lifts up the humble.
I have been in a season of stepping back from what I was called to do to do what He needed me to do. I have traded in my speaking, blogging and traveling which is my love to clean toilets and scrub floors and make copies and coffee and mop and greet and send reminders and pay bills and encourage the Pastor who is also my husband. I will admit it hasn't always been easy to step back and scrub floors when I felt called to something more. I was humbled!!! I encourage you today that if you are feeling like you are lost in the mundane wondering if your moment will come to give Him glory in the little.....you have been faithful with little now I will put you in charge of much! Matthew 25:21 I will take a rest after Honduras to heal from a surgery that I can no longer put off, and then I will speak in 7 states at 9 women's events in the Spring. My busiest spring ever comes after a season of being faithful with little. He does lift up the humble. I am grateful to be used! I am exhausted and looking forward to some rest!!! But I know this.....I will have run the race leaving nothing behind that He called me to and it is already worth it!
I covet your prayers. I have so many answered the past six months that I have entered a new season of intercessory prayer. God is faithful. I have learned the hardest times are usually right before breakthrough, so don't shrink back! Press in my sweet sister! Your Father is good and you in His eyes are worthy!!!
In His Grip,
Holland and I are taking bracelets to Honduras. Every bracelet we sell until December 2nd, we will take one with us with your name on it for a child there. See bracelets at our shop page.